I unexpectedly met my Goodreads reading challenge goal of 200 books this week. Go me! I read 211 books in 2015, though, so I still have something to beat.
A wonderful story about family, illness and loss. Catrina and her family move to a new town that has an unusual connection with ghosts. While Maya, Catrina’s younger sister is determined to actually speak to a ghost, Catrina is determined to keep them away from her family at all costs. If this had been a ghost story that had really been about the fear of losing a sister, I would have unreservedly loved this book. The ghosts, however, are connected to the town through the Day of the Dead, which made things a little more complicated. It’s difficult for me to judge how Telgemeier dealt with this particular aspect of the book, though I felt uncomfortable with it at times, but there are a lot of reviews that accuse her of a lack of accuracy. Definitely a read with positives and negatives, this one.
With humanity split between the haves and the have-nots, Violet and her parents are very much have-nots. That doesn’t bother Violet though, she’s too busy making friends and learning how to fly spaceships. When her father goes missing and his employers claim to have never even heard of him, Violet sets out to save him. This is a ridiculously fun romp through a richly imagined universe, with some important things to say about family and friendship. Although aimed at kids, the story is still pretty complex and the humour is pretty wide-ranging (there are a lot of jokes about poo, as seems to be the norm in children’s literature these days, but some of them are actually funny).
It’s never ideal to jump into a story four volumes in, but even taking that into account, Beyond Good and Evil doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The story telling is choppy, rushing from a to c without stopping at the really important point of b. It opens on a story that could have had a lot of emotional resonance – Kara looks at flashes of Kal-El’s life and begins to understand what it was like for him growing up on Earth. Sadly, Kara doesn’t get much time to process what she’s seen, being confined to making faces in the background. We then skip to her apartment, where Superman asks her to do something and, even though the artwork (and dialogue) completely fail to indicate this to the reader, she fails. I’m still not sure how she failed. But it’s bad, and she’s a bad superhero. Something she underlines by saving a boy from a burning building the wrong way. You’ll have guessed by now that I did not love this TPB.
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally gotten around to reading the origin story of Miles Morales aka Spider-Man, and it definitely lived up to the hype. When Miles is bitten by a spider, he gains new super-powers. Which is cool and all, but what the hell is a kid at grade school supposed to do with super-powers? The core of the story is Miles’ struggle with himself as he deals with his new abilities, and it’s really deftly handled. The origin of the spider sets up a nice B-story with the potential to run for a long time, and the elephant in the room that is Peter Parker is fully embraced. Miles himself is an awesome kid, and his supporting cast are admirably diverse (and fun!). I totally get why people keep campaigning for a Miles Morales movie now, and I want one too.
This was a two year jump into the future after Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Volume 1 which took a bit of adjustment. As did the fact that Peter Parker seemed to come back. I’m assuming that the comics really did bring Peter back (an idea I’m not sure I’m on board with) but in this volume no one’s really sure if it’s him which leads to the funniest two page spread I’ve read in a while – clone!!!! There’s so much Peter Parker in this TPB, but it’s still very much a Miles Morales story. Phew.
I don’t know what to say about this really. I did not enjoy it. At all. In an Earth that’s permanently frozen, a train runs on a track, never slowing, never stopping, keeping the last of humanity alive. Okay, you might think, that sounds interesting. And you’re right, it does sound interesting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make a single bit of sense. We get a throwaway reference to Snowpiercer originally have been planned as a luxury train for rich people, but nothing that explains the construction of an endless track, or the addition of quite so many carriages. Inside the train, society is strictly divided, with the rich living comfortable lives in the front carriages, and the poor living desperate lives in the rear carriages. One passenger manages to escape from the rear carriages, which is where our story starts. He won’t go back, which is where our story ends. In between we get lots of nonsensical plot, poor dialogue and horrifying examples of misogyny. There are no women in positions of power on Snowpiercer, but it’s okay because there are lots of naked women doing whatever the rich passengers at the front of the train want. Even our heroine, who’s supposed to be a political activist, strips off almost immediately when locked in a room with the hero. I gave this two stars on Goodreads, but I’m seriously considering downgrading it.
With a different writer than Volume 1, I was hoping for a plot that made a little bit more sense and a whole lot less misogyny. I was disappointed. For some reason we move to a second train that knew Snowpiercer was there (though Snowpiercer thought it was alone) but still managed to crash into it. So the train is now half Snowpiercer and half Icepiercer, but still subject to exactly the same societal structure as Snowpiercer. Okay. Our hero this time is an ‘Explorer’, someone who is sent outside the train to forage for goods during scheduled stops (which are a thing now). The explorer storyline had potential, but instead we’re treated to a rehash of the plot of the the first volume that somehow makes even less sense than the first. Avoid.
This has been recommended to me by so many people since it came out, so I almost jumped for joy when the library finally got a copy in. And it’s so freaking good. SO GOOD. A compilation of short stories, it’s deliciously creepy, unsettling, lyrical, beautiful and sinister. There was one story that I didn’t love as much as the others, but the book was so good overall that I don’t even really care. I want more, so much more of this type of work!
I’ve not read widely in The New 52, but what I have read has been pretty subpar. I hate this version of Wonder Woman. I hate the inclusion of the Greek Gods. None of it works for me. I’ve never particularly been a fan of Superman, and this version has done little to change my mind. And then we have the relationship. Wonder Woman and Superman? Really? Charles Soule has to contort himself and the characters all over the place to try to get this particular dynamic to work and I’m not sure he pulls it off. There are some interesting moments, but nothing that made me buy into the concept of Clark loves Diana forever.